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Asia stocks gain on China data

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index soared 1.6% as property and banking shares popped.

Asia stocks gain on China data

Asian stocks were mostly firmer on Tuesday after a survey of Chinese manufacturing proved surprisingly upbeat and as markets shrugged off the softer lead from Wall Street.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped back below the flat line to trade lower by 0.12%. Gains in the telecommunications sector were offset by declines in the health care and heavily-weighted financials sub-indexes, which lost 0.64% and 0.32%, respectively.

Gold producer stocks added 1.18% as the yellow metal held onto gains made last week. Kingsgate rose 3.75% and Newcrest added 1.36%.

Elsewhere, South Korean markets carved out slight gains following geopolitical developments regarding North Korea in the past week. The benchmark Kospi index tacked on 0.24% as technology stocks mostly rose while automakers declined. Heavyweights Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix edged up 0.35% and 0.39%, respectively, while Hyundai Motor declined 2.24%.

The positive sentiment was also seen in greater China markets. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index soared 1.55% as property and banking shares popped. Sunac rose 9.58%, Country Garden advanced 9.26% and China Evergrande Group added 5.38% in morning trade.

Mainland markets also saw gains. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.86% and the Shenzhen Composite was higher by 0.44%.

The Caixin manufacturing PMI, which focuses on activity at smaller businesses, for December released on Tuesday came in at 51.5, topping the 50.6 figure forecast in a Reuters poll.

Japan’s Nikkei was closed for a holiday.


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